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2 Stars - Fair
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, brief strong language, smoking and a scene of teen drinking)
Directed By
Paul McGuigan
Run Time
1 hour 51 minutes
Colin Ford, Joel Gretsch, Djimon Hounsou, Dakota Fanning
Theatre Release
February 06, 2009 by Summit Entertainment

In a time like ours, when every comic-book company in the world seems to have a movie deal, and everyone from Pixar to Will Smith has spoofed the superhero genre, there is something kind of refreshing about a film like Push. Yes, on the one hand, it is yet another superhero movie, coming to us at a time when there have arguably been far, far too many of these films as it is. But, on the other hand, it is not based on any existing franchises or characters, so the filmmakers have an opportunity to surprise us by creating a new story entirely from scratch—a new story that will not be hindered by any perceived need to cater to an existing fanbase.

What is more, Push takes its subject matter fairly seriously, or at any rate does not exploit its subject matter for cheap ironic laughs. If anything, the film represents a significant attempt to bring the genre back down to Earth, to make superheroes seem more "realistic." Just as TV shows like Smallville and Heroes have tended to let the superpowers speak for themselves, without getting distracted by campy capes and costumes, so too Push features characters who simply wear business suits or slightly tattered clothes, whatever suits their lifestyle. And just as the Jason Bourne movies gave new life to the international-espionage thriller by using hand-held cameras and taking place in everyday locations rather than posh tourist spots, so too Push achieves a certain kind of naturalism by taking place in the busy streets and back alleys of Hong Kong. At times it has an almost documentary sort of feel.

So there are several compelling reasons to like this film, or to want to like it. But it all falls apart, alas, at the screenplay level. Screenwriter David Bourla—who, according ...

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